The Texas Forensic Science Academy (TFSA) at TEEX has received a $425,000 training grant from the Governor’s Office, Texas Criminal Justice Division. The grant will allow TFSA to deliver 27 tuition-free courses to over 540 crime scene investigators across the State of Texas. The grant also provides funding to convert its entry-level Basic Criminal Investigation course to an on-line course for easier access statewide.After Texas eliminated federal grant funds to the state's regional drug task forces in 2006, Gov. Rick Perry shifted a great deal of money which previously sustained them to various border operations by DPS and pork-barrel grants to local agencies, some of which have been criticized for delivering little bang for the buck. Grits has little doubt that money would be better spent ensuring forensic scientists have adequate training (not to mention bolstering indigent defense), and am glad to see the funds going toward that purpose. The same pot of money should be used to improve training in other forensic fields.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Use federal grant funds to train forensic scientists
Last week at the Forensic Science Commission's "roundtable," a common lament was that there exists no state-level source of training and continuing education funds for forensic scientists and technicians comparable to those for prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges. Many agencies have slashed or eliminated training budgets, we were told, with the situation especially acute at "fee for service" labs. I'd suggested some of the federal grant funds flowing through the Governor's Criminal Justice Division toward "border security" measures would be a good fit for that purpose. So I was pleased to see this press release announcing training for Texas crime scene investigators financed through the CJD. From the lede: